GW suspends pro-Palestine group over anti-Israel messaging

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George Washington (GW) University has temporarily suspended a pro-Palestine group over its anti-Israel messaging on campus.

The suspension comes after the group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) last month projected anti-Israel messages on a campus library amid the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. In a Tuesday statement emailed to The Hill, the university said they “determined that SJP’s actions violated university policies.”

“As a result, effective immediately, the university has prohibited SJP from participating in activities on campus,” the statement continued.

“SJP cannot sponsor or organize on-campus activities on university property or use university facilities, including indoor and outdoor spaces available for reservation through the university; this prohibition is in effect for the next 90 days,” the statement said. “Also effective immediately, SJP is prohibited from posting communications on university property through May 20, 2024.”

Last month’s projections, which garnered national attention and backlash, included messages like “Divestment from Zionist genocide now” and “Free Palestine From the River to the Sea.” Politicians like Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) condemned the projections.

“As an alumni of @GWtweets they should launch an investigation. I look forward to seeing the University statement on this,” Moskowitz said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

A representative for SJP told the student newspaper The GW Hatchet that GW’s decision to bar them from campus organizing did not surprise them.

“We see this very clearly as being a political response to a growing wave of backlash and repression towards Palestinian organizing, but specifically the Palestinian student movement that’s been happening the past few weeks,” the representative said, according to the Hatchet.

The suspension of SJP at GW also follows a similar decision by Columbia University last Friday to suspend SJP through the fall semester.

The Hill has reached out to the student-run SJP group for comment.

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